US streaming-video king wants the world in 2 years

US streaming-video king wants the world in 2 years

NEW YORK - Netflix, the leading US video streaming provider, has revealed a plan to expand its service from about 50 countries at present to virtually all of the world's nearly 200 countries over the next two years.

The company has been building up its subscriber numbers in the US by offering unlimited access to movies and TV shows for a relatively low basic fee of less than US$10 (S$13.45) per month. But signs of a slowdown have the company looking overseas for growth.

On Wednesday, Netflix announced it will expand into Japan this autumn. The company will open an office in Tokyo to facilitate partnerships with consumer electronics makers and work with Japanese film and TV creators.

Gregory K. Peters, chief streaming and partnerships officer at Netflix since 2013, has been promoted to general manager of Netflix Japan. Peters, who speaks Japanese and holds a degree in physics and astronomy from Yale University, joined Netflix in 2008.

Warm overseas welcome

In a press conference to report the company's earnings for the October-December quarter of 2014, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings spoke about why the company is pursuing such an ambitious overseas strategy. He said Netflix has been encouraged by the success it has enjoyed in such markets as Argentina, Finland, Canada and the Netherlands.

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